Scripture: John 20:19-23; Acts 2:1-21 On this Pentecost Sunday we also celebrated the birthday of Raleigh Mennonite and the annual renewal of our covenant together. We take time to remember that we’ve said “yes” to showing up for one another. There’s no rule book for how to do this. The only tools we’re given to […]
Abiding – May 14, 2023
This was a unique Sunday when Raleigh Mennonite joined St. Ambrose Episcopal for a joint worship service in St. Ambrose’s sanctuary. Father Jemonde Taylor and Pastor Melissa Florer-Bixler brought a dialogical sermon from the gospel reading in John 14:15-21. During Lent the choirs from both churches joined together to learn about and sing songs from […]
We are Bread – April 23, 2023
Melissa preached from Luke 24:13-35 on this third Sunday of Easter. Bread weaves a thread through the pages of scripture. Bread is a character in our salvation story. Even though they had talked at length with this stranger, it wasn’t until the two traveling on the road to Emmaus sat and broke bread with Jesus […]
While it was still dark – April 9, 2023
On this Easter morning Melissa preached from John 20:1-18. Early on the first morning, while it was still dark, there was sweat and adrenaline and weeping. It has been three days since the crucifixion. Three days since they took his body down from the cross, and sealed it inside a cave with a massive boulder. […]
Dangerous Parties – April 2, 2023
Melissa spoke from Matthew 21:1-11 on this Palm Sunday. She shared the story of one of her favorite parties she has been a part of, when women were released from jail after their bond was paid by members of SONG. “When I see the women with radiant faces celebrating their freedom, I am there with […]
No One Needs to Know You’re a Chicken – March 26, 2023
On this fifth Sunday of Lent Melissa preached from Romans 8:6-11. Our bodies are not neutral. We are formed by environments, constrained or freed, or subjected to housing laws and legal decisions, physical borders, corporations. Our bodies, our racialized bodies, our aging bodies, our gendered bodies, these are formed by forces much larger than our […]
Seeing & Not Believing – March 19, 2023
On this fourth Sunday of Lent Melissa preached from John 9:1-41 and Romans 5:1-11. The story of Jesus healing the man who was born blind, and the subsequent questioning by the Pharisees illustrates the difference between being cured and being healed. After he gains his sight, he is repeatedly questioned by the people in power […]
Confession and Sin – March 12, 2023
On this third Sunday of Lent, Melissa spoke from Romans 5:1-11. Most of our sins aren’t interesting or dangerous. They’re mostly petty and boring and cruel. We short change both the chasm of our failings and the grace of God when we limit the scope of our sins to doing bad things. Our sins are […]
Questions of Identity – March 5, 2023
On this second Sunday of Lent Melissa preached from Romans 4:1-5, 13-17, weaving in basketball with the ongoing theme of confession, along with talking about community and identity. What if our identity isn’t a story about heroics or world-changing? What if the only way to tell each other apart is that we forgive each other?
Making God into Something Else – Feb. 26, 2023
On this first Sunday of Lent, Melissa preached from Genesis 2:15-17 & 3:1-7 and Romans 5:12-19. During this season we are focusing our time and attention toward “confession.” We have varied experiences with confessions. Confession is when we come clean, when we tell the truth about who we are. We are not God!
The heart of the matter – Feb. 12, 2023
Scripture: Matthew 5:21-37 Today we’re listening to Jesus challenge our misconceptions about what this Jesus-centered life is that we have chosen to live. If you’re here because you’re trying to find a behavior modification program to make you more moral, this is not the right place. Jesus is actually interested in the heart of the […]
Salt & Light – Feb. 5, 2023
Scripture: Matthew 5:11-20 Melissa asked the congregation to help shape the sermon and interpret scripture together in this message about the oft-heard passage of the church being the salt of the earth and the light of the world.
Three Doorways to the Holy Spirit – Jan. 15, 2023
Scripture: John 1:29-42 Melissa shares about Jesus’ baptism and anointing by the Holy Spirit through three different encounters: two icon images and a video. The Holy Spirit is frequently an under-considered member of the trinity, an afterthought. Feel free to participate in this visio divina by studying the icons as you listen to the sermon […]
Jesus’ Early Life: God Incarnate – Jan. 1, 2023
Matthew 2:13-23 Scripture doesn’t tell us a lot about Jesus’ early life, when God became a human baby. The story at the beginning of his life will form the whole rest of the story. It turns out that what it means to be God is actually what it means to be perfectly human, to love […]
You shall name him Immanuel – Dec. 18, 2022
Scripture: Isaiah 7: 10-16, Matthew 1: 18-25 Melissa preached from home since she had a child with COVID. We continue to hear from the prophecies in Isaiah on this fourth Sunday of Advent. God rolls God’s eyes at Ahaz because of Ahaz’s reluctance to listen to God. And God sends a token that Ahaz doesn’t […]
Pushing Beyond Utility to Beauty – Dec. 11, 2022
Scriptures: Isaiah 35:1-10 and Matthew 11:2-11 How does one tie in excitement about the World Cup with the third Sunday of Advent? Leave it to Melissa!
Ain’t Gonna Study War No More – Nov. 27, 2022
Scripture: Isaiah 2:1-5 Melissa began her sermon on this first Sunday of Advent by sharing a rendition of Down by the Riverside by Rosetta Tharpe. In the Isaiah passage, God paints a picture for Isaiah of a world where tools of war become obsolete. That is a pretty bold vision for people locked into a […]
Alexamenos adores his god – Nov. 20, 2022
Scripture: Luke 23: 33-43 On this Sunday celebrating the reign of Jesus, Melissa shared the image of some graffiti archaeologists uncovered depicting a man with his arm raised toward a man with a donkey’s head nailed to a cross. Under it bears the inscription “Alexamenos adores his god.” There are frequently two depictions of Jesus. […]
Women of the Resurrection – Nov. 6, 2022
Melissa reflects on and gives voice to the hypothetical woman who was married to seven brothers from the story in Luke 20:27-38. The Sadducees pose this question about the resurrection, but all along what Jesus wanted to tell the Sadducees, wanted to tell us, is that all women, all people, need good news. We need […]
Ordinary Saints – Oct. 30, 2022
Scripture: Ephesians 1:11-23 On this All Saints Day Melissa provided the message, explaining that saints are people who have lived in a way that help us believe that God is real. They are not necessarily the ones who are the best at believing stuff. Saints carry faith for one another and make make God credible […]
A Gift With No Strings Attached – Oct. 23, 2022
Melissa shared The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector (Luke 18:9-14) in its original form and as it might play out right here at Raleigh Mennonite. This version as acted out had a Bishop, a philanthropist, an activist and a payday lender. The first three were smug in their righteousness and celebrated that […]
Standing up for Justice – Oct. 16, 2022
Melissa began the four-part message sharing the story of the widow who demanded justice from the judge in Luke 18:1-8. This was followed by three stories of RMCers who shared out of their calling to work for social justice in their varied roles: Rachel “RED” Davis, Elizabeth Korver-Glen and David Rohrer.
A blessing for the kids
A peak into a special part of the service for the youngest members of our community when Melissa shares with them how much God loves them. Take a listen!
What is Hope Now? – Sept. 25, 2022
Scripture: Jeremiah 32: 1-3a, 6-15 In the final sermon of the four Melissa preached reflecting on her sabbatical, she focuses on hope, even in the midst of incredibly trying times. Often times it’s difficult to see hope in current circumstances, but frequently it’s churning and breathing below the surface, even if we can’t see it. […]